Umbrella Studio is one of the best of Townsville’s art galleries and I try to get along to as many of their exhibitions as possible. I tried especially hard for the current shows because their content reflects my interests in the environment, and I made it to the opening – which drew, incidentally, a large and enthusiastic crowd.
Sandi Hook uses a mixture of media to depict Northern, mostly inland, landscapes in Energies and Crossings in the main space. She creates a lovely sense of the pared-back beauty of the gulf savannah, evoking memories of Chillagoe, Undarra and my Aramac-Porcupine Gorge – White Mountains trip a year ago.
The upstairs (mezzanine) space was devoted to Florae, smaller works by Naomi Smith and Bernadette Boscacci. Their theme was the native vegetation of our region – not, as Greg Calvert pointedly said in launching the show, the over-familiar and generically-tropical palms, poincianas and hibiscus but the lesser known local plants like Burdekin Plum and Kapok (some of the graphic possibilities of the latter may be apparent from this collection of my photos of the plant). Between them the artists employed a very broad range of media, from screen printed fabric to miniature paper sculptures.
Well worth a visit!